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Recognition of Prior Learning: How To Prepare

How To Prepare For RPL: Recognition of Prior Learning. This article describes the Recognition of Prior Learning Process as an option for qualifying.

Recognition of Prior Learning Saves Time and Money

assessment and rpl recognition of prior learning

Work Experience but No Qualification?

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process that enables individuals to gain recognition and credit for their prior learning, knowledge, and skills, regardless of where and how they acquired them. RPL can help individuals to progress in their careers, change their career paths, or pursue further education and training.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is valuable for adult learners because it allows them to have their work experience and prior knowledge formally recognized and credited towards a formal qualification. This is immensely satisfying!

Obtain a Qualification Based on What You Already Know and Do

This process (so amazing!) is beneficial for anyone unable to study before entering their careers. RPL provides the opportunity to upskill and gain a formal qualification that can enhance career prospects and increase earning potential.

Recognition of Prior Learning

RPL also saves time and resources, as you do not have to repeat studies you have already gained knowledge in through work experience. Recognition of Prior Learning validates the knowledge and skills you acquired through practical experience, making your experience and hard-won expertise count towards a degree or certification. This can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue learning, leading to personal and professional growth.

How To Prepare for Recognition of Prior Learning

rpl motivation letter

If you are considering RPL, here are some steps you can take to prepare for it:

1. Understand the RPL process

Before starting the RPL process, it is essential to understand what it entails. You should research the RPL policies and procedures of the institution or organization where you intend to apply for recognition. This will help you understand the criteria, evidence requirements, and assessment methods used to determine your prior learning.

The entry criteria for different qualifications vary. Some will require at least 2 years of experience, others more. Training providers may add criteria in order to meet specific industry standards and expectations.

2. Identify your prior learning

The next step is to identify your prior learning. You should make a list of your skills, knowledge, and experience gained from previous jobs, volunteering, hobbies, or informal learning. You can also consider any relevant certificates, licenses, or qualifications you have obtained. It is crucial to be comprehensive in this step and to provide evidence to support your claims.

3. Gather evidence for Recognition of Prior Learning

Once you have identified your prior learning, the next step is to gather evidence to support your claims. The evidence can include work samples, references, testimonials, certificates, or transcripts. It is important to ensure that the evidence you provide is relevant to the criteria and requirements of the RPL assessment.

4. Self-evaluate your skills and knowledge

Before submitting your RPL application, it is recommended that you undertake a self-evaluation of your skills and knowledge. This can help you identify any gaps in your learning and areas where you may need further training or development. You can also use this self-evaluation to reflect on your career goals and how RPL can help you achieve them.

5. Seek guidance and support

Preparing for RPL can be challenging, so it is essential to seek guidance and support from RPL professionals. You can contact the institution or organization where you intend to apply for recognition and ask for guidance on the RPL process. You can also seek the support of a career counsellor or an RPL advisor who can help you with your application and provide you with feedback.

Compile A Portfolio of Evidence for Recognition of Prior Learning

RPL is for candidates who already possess knowledge and experience and mostly don’t require training. They possess all or most of the required skills and knowledge and simply need to be assessed and verified for competence.

You are required to put together a Portfolio of Evidence that proves you meet the requirements of a qualification with minimal training support. RPL is a formal assessment process that encourages adults to improve career mobility and acquire relevant qualifications for an ever-changing world.

RPL Evidence Submission Process

  1. The training provider may invite you to a consultation to discuss your application or may inform you that you qualify to attend a workshop.
  2. The service provider will explain the qualification requirements and how to structure your Portfolio of Evidence (POE) for assessment.
  3. Your work will be assessed, if you have submitted insufficient evidence or if your work fails to meet competency levels, you will be given a deadline for the resubmission.
  4. The process of correcting and improving your work is known as remediation.
  5. After your POE has been assessed for the final time, Moderation follows. If the Moderator is happy with the process followed by the training provider, facilitator and assessor, the relevant quality council is notified to verify the findings.
  6. Credit is awarded for knowledge and skills acquired through experience and not for the experience alone.
how long does rpl take?

Get Started: Select a Qualification for RPL

  • Go to SAQA.ORG.ZA and hit ‘Search for a qualification’
  • Type in the title of the qualification you think you’re looking for
  • Open it and scroll to the Exit Level Outcomes (ELO)
  • ELO’s are what students must be able to do independently by the time the training is complete.
  • How much of these ELO’s do you meet? 60% or more? Then it could be the right qualification for you to pursue.
  • If you don’t understand the ELO’S – wrong qualification, search again! Keep going till you find the ELO’s that best match your skill set.

Contact a Training Provider

  1. Check the bottom of the SAQA qualification for the list of accredited training providers.
  2. If there are none, contact the QCTO or the relevant SETA.
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Apply for RPL

  1. Training providers will want to check if you are eligible for the RPL process:
    • What evidence is required?
    • What evidence do you have?
    • Any gaps?
  2. If there are gaps in your knowledge and/or skills development, you will be required to attend training or be mentored in order to meet the requirements.

In conclusion, preparing for RPL requires careful planning, preparation, and gathering of evidence to support your claims. By following the steps outlined above, you can increase your chances of success in the RPL process and gain recognition for your prior learning.

Use this RPL Motivation letter template if you are applying for RPL.

Good luck!

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Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Thakane

    Good Day Leonie

    Very informative and helpful site I’ve come across so far.

    Keep up the good work.


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